Power up that Network!

When you hear the term “Bloom Boxes,” what comes to mind?  Do you think of a lovely window box full of flowers or a misspelling of boom boxes from the ‘80s?  The term is starting to become more widely known, especially in the sustainability field. A “Bloom Box” is the nickname for a Bloom Energy Server, a new fuel cell technology with roots in NASA’s Mars program that generates energy by using only oxygen and natural gases.

Photo: Bloom Fuel Cell

The information and technology revolution has been with us a few years and it of course keeps growing. And to power the technology, we need sources of energy and a Bloom Box is an alternative to generate cleaner electricity than traditional methods.  Some believe it is even the most efficient. With only about the size of a parking space, one Bloom Box can produce 200 killowatts of electricity. If you consider that an average electric clothes drier uses about 4,400 watts, that’s over 45 driers being powered by one box. And it does it while reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 50 percent compared to the grid.

Here at AT&T we are beginning to utilize Bloom Boxes to provide energy to our network. In July, 2011 we announced that 11 of our California sites powered with Bloom energy fuel cells. The continued and expanded use of these Bloom Boxes is just one part of the approach helping us improve our AT&T sustainability goals.

Photo: Bloom Box

Have you ever heard of Bloom Boxes? Does your company utilize them? What other uses do you think Bloom Boxes would lend themselves to improving?
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